Navigation Links
More food at lower cost
Date:12/14/2008

In the face of climate change, being able to increase crop yields by enabling plants to take up nutrients and water more efficiently becomes increasingly important, as fertiliser and water supplies incur significant energy and environmental costs.

New research from the University of Bristol, published today in Nature Cell Biology, has shown how to increase the length of root hairs on plants, potentially improving crop yields, as plants with longer root hairs take up minerals and water more efficiently.

Angharad (Harry) Jones, a PhD student in Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, and lead author on the paper, said: "Each root hair is a single, elongate cell and the length of each hair depends on having an adequate supply of the plant hormone auxin. Auxin is used, for example, in hormone rooting powders to encourage cuttings to root. The difficulty has been in understanding how auxin is delivered to the root hairs in order to promote their growth."

Since auxin cannot be observed directly, Jones used a computer model built by physicist Eric Kramer at Bard College, USA, to calculate where auxin was likely to be in plants. The model was based on current knowledge of auxin transport through and around the relevant cells.

What the model showed was very surprising: auxin is not delivered to root hair cells directly, but via the cells next door which act as canals through which the auxin is transported. During transport, some of the auxin leaks out, supplying hair cells with the auxin signal to grow. This new understanding will be crucial in helping farmers to produce food sustainably and to reduce fertiliser waste, which can cause severe damage to ecosystems.

Dr Claire Grierson, senior author on the paper added: "This important new work is an example of 'integrative biology', an innovative, interdisciplinary approach that uses experimental results alongside mathematical models and computer simulations to test ideas that are difficult or impossible to investigate with experiments alone. This approach has produced groundbreaking and surprising insights into a biological mechanism that might otherwise have eluded us."

The results also suggest that increasing the number of root hairs is likely to interfere with auxin supply and cause problems with other important traits like a plant's response to gravity and root branching. The new understanding of how to increase the length of roots hairs, rather than their numbers, will now avoid these kinds of problems.

It was Charles Darwin and his son Francis who, in 1880, first discovered that plants direct their growth towards the light. These observations would later lead to the discovery of auxin. END


'/>"/>

Contact: Cherry Lewis
Cherry.lewis@bristol.ac.uk
44-772-942-1885
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Student study bolsters case for adding a rare sunflower to the endangered species list
2. Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
3. Student study bolsters case for adding a rare sunflower to the endangered species list
4. Recovery from acid rain much slower than expected
5. Folic acid lowers blood arsenic levels, according to Mailman School of Public Health study
6. Study finds that even aloof husbands have lower testosterone levels than unmarried men
7. Folic acid lowers blood arsenic levels in Bangladesh
8. Biopharmaceutical infrastructure key to lower drug development costs
9. More on mate tea: lower cholesterol and an international agreement
10. Measurement Specialties, Inc. Announces Impact of German Business Tax Reform 2008 Resulting in Lower Combined German Tax Rate - Impacts 2Q08 Reported Financial Results
11. UF botanists: Flowering plants evolved very quickly into 5 groups
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
More food at lower cost
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2016)... 18, 2016 The Biotech industry continues ... mean that there are no opportunities ahead. Today, ActiveWallSt.com has ... THLD ), Seattle Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Ophthotech Corp. (NASDAQ: OPHT ). Sign up now ... http://www.activewallst.com/ Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc.,s shares ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... The Academy of Model ... celebrating its dream of reaching a total of $1 million in awarded scholarships. , ... 10 high school graduates from across the nation has helped bring the total of ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2016 , ... ... for use in animal waste reduction applications, announced today it will be showcasing ... Moines, Iowa. , ManureMagic™ was featured in the Wall Street Journal last year ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... The Children’s Tumor Foundation is enthusiastic to ... globe will show their support in the fight against neurofibromatosis (NF) by lighting up ... genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects ...
Breaking Biology Technology: